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3 Things You'll Learn in the Carlson School's Human Resources Master's Program

Monday, August 7, 2023

Now with several years of work experience under their belt, we checked in with three alumni from the Master of Human Resources and Industrial Relations program to learn how the program has accelerated their career knowledge and skills.

We asked:

“What are three things you learned or gained from the program that may have taken you longer if you hadn’t joined the program?”


This is what they shared with us:

Jake Peggar

Jake Peggar, '18 MHRIR

Current Job: Senior HRBP Program Manager, Autodesk

His 3 things learned/gained:

1. The program's curriculum gives you exposure to all critical areas of the HR function. Whether you decide to pursue a career in compensation, talent, or business partnering, having a well-rounded understanding of the core theories across the function is invaluable and accelerates impact in any role. This broad knowledge base would take many years to acquire outside academia.

2. Business and financial acumen continue to be an area of opportunity for HR professionals. Through coursework with a business focus, such as Business Principles, Personnel Economics, Data/Metrics, and access to courses in the MBA program, I have the knowledge base and tools to better understand the "business" side of my organization.

3. The program gives you unprecedented access to a high-quality network, whether it's fellow HR professionals, MBA students, professors, or a vast alumni network. Building and having access to this network across industries, professions, and specialties would be virtually impossible to replicate through "real-world" connections alone.


Connect with Jake on LinkedIn

Jess Zamora Weiss

Jess Zamora-Weiss, '18 MHRIR

Current Job: HR Manager, Owens Corning

Her 3 things learned/gained:

1. This program offers a world-class education in HR compensation, labor relations, and leadership development (to name just a few subjects) with highly esteemed professors and subject matter experts. Everything that I learned was immediately applicable in my day-to-day life in my roles at PepsiCo and Owens Corning. 
2. I gained a very strong network of HR professionals across multiple industries who I still call upon when I need to benchmark various HR practices. I built these relationships through in-class group work, case competitions, and social time facilitated by our student group, the Graduate Society of Human Resources Leaders. 
3. The Carlson Business Career Center (CBCC) was by far the most value-added part of going to the Carlson School over other programs. The CBCC staff is very committed to equipping students with the professional skills to land high-impact and high-paying jobs within the HR industry. The fact that they can attract so many Fortune 500 companies to recruit students was a key factor in why I chose the Carlson School for my graduate education in HR.

Connect with Jess on LinkedIn


Alexus Hudson

Alexus Hudson, '19 MHRIR

Current Job: HR Generalist, Cedar Fair Entertainment Company

Her 3 things learned/gained:

1. I learned what areas of HR I wanted to pursue, which helped guide my job search. The program provides a wide variety of courses and I learned a lot about what I liked and what I didn't like. The internship I had between the two years also helped me determine my interests. For instance, after taking HRIR 6301 Staffing, Training, and Development I realized that recruiting wasn't for me. I didn't have an interest in it. After my internship and taking HRIR 6501 Compensation and Benefits, I learned that I really liked compensation and that I potentially wanted a role that included that function. 

2. The Carlson Graduate Business Career Center helped prepare me to interview for the higher caliber organizations I may not have considered applying for if I hadn't joined the program.

3. The program also expanded my HR network more in the two years I was there. I don't know if I would have the variety of people around the country in my network if I hadn't attended the Carlson School.

Connect with Alexus on LinkedIn


Hear from more alumni about their careers!

Learn from three other alumni about how the Master of Human Resources and Industrial Relations program launched and accelerated their careers.


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